Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sippin' Saturday - Pure Leaf Pomegranate Tea

I find this drink pretty refreshing and not too crazy sweet. It's not a smooth as drinks such as Peace Tea or Arizona Iced Tea, but if you like the drinks that taste more like tea (and not just sugar), than you'll probably like this one. The flavor is a little bit tart and decently fruity, like a pomegranate. As someone who is a fan of super sugary drinks, I probably wouldn't drink this on a daily basis, but it's fun to pick up every once in a while, especially if you need to cleanse your palate.

💗 Annette

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reading Wednesday - Something Sweet by Beverly Farr

Normally I try not to read two series books back-to-back by throwing a filler book in there, but I had a couple of doctor's appointments so I this ebook snuck its way in. It's book three in the Love and Chocolate series - and so far, the most recent one published. This one follows Amanda, a single mother of a four-year-old on the Autistic spectrum. She's crazy busy and struggles with money - she doesn't even consider having a social (or romantic) life.

I liked this book because, although it is very structurally a romance, it was more realistic - in that Amanda struggles were incredibly real. The author doesn't make anything in her life too glamorous. This book is another quick romance read.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Random Doodles

Not much to post today, so here are some random doodles drawn by my sister Gina.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sippin' Saturday - IHOP Splashberry

This drink is a combination of Sprite, orange juice, and strawberry syrup. While it sounds very similar to the Olympic Torch that I reviewed here, it is so, so much better. It's served over ice (cold drinks area always a plus) and it has just the right balance of each of the flavors so that it's refreshing, but no one flavor is overbearing. Depending on your taste, it might be a little to sweet to go with a sweet breakfast food, like pancakes, but it would definitely go well with anything else!

💗 Annette

5 years ago - Sippin' Saturday - 10 random drink reviews

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Reading Wednesday - Marry the Doctor by Beverly Farr

This is book two in the "Love and Chocolate" romance series by Beverly Farr. It follows Frank Brannigan, a neurosurgeon who is part owner of a large chocolate corporation. He's lonely, but as a single father and busy surgeon, he's having trouble finding that connection with someone.

While this book still follows the pretty typical romance, it was a little bit different for a couple of reasons:
1. The author doesn't reveal the female love interest until almost halfway through the story. (There are plenty of different options, so you don't know who it will be.)
2. Once the couple gets together... they're together. Instead of relationship-y oriented stuff, they (mostly) deal with external problems. I like this.
3. I liked the female character. She wasn't super typical for a romance - but I can't give too much away!

Overall, this book gets four out of five stars. It was cute and it was shorter than your average novel, which made it a quick read.

💗 Annette

3 years ago - Reading Wednesday - Jesus Calling

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spikes Square Eight from Bring Color to Crochet

This is the second square I've crocheted from Bring Color to Crochet. It was also my first time ever using spike stitch!

(My first row of spike stitches, I'm so proud.)

So, since it was my first time, I definitely didn't go far enough down when I first did the spike stitches. Which worked well enough for the first couple of rows, but got a bit tricky when I got farther along. I studied the author's picture quite a bit to figure out what had gone wrong. Basically, you want to go to the very bottom of the previous color for the spike stitch. If you're sticking your hook in somewhere in the middle, you're doing it wrong. :) I've included a (hopefully helpful) picture below.

The blue stitch in the very center, that one is wrong. The blue spike stitches to the right are right.

I thought this was a super fun square. It was easy, and now I want to try all sorts of patterns with spike stitches in them. They're simple and look very cool. And thankfully, the author has more squares using these stitches.

Both sides look pretty cool, but quite different. What side is your favorite?

I think this is the backside, but it's my favorite.

This is technically the "right" side, but I don't like it as much.

This week and last week's squares

💗 Annette

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Reading Wednesday - Only Mine by Susan Mallery

This is book four in the Fool's Gold romance series. It follow's Dakota, one of a set of Triplets, who has lived in Fool's Gold almost her entire life. She's been assigned by her boss to keep an eye on a new reality TV series that has set up camp in town. While doing this, she meets Flinn, the older brother of two of the reality show contestants. Flinn is adamant that his brothers need to return home to Alaska to finish college, but even if they don't, he's staying to make sure they don't get themselves in trouble.

After reading a couple of her books, I sort of have high expectations for ones by Susan Mallery. This one was not to her usual standard. It wasn't bad by any means, but I wasn't on the edge of my seat either. It was a pretty classic romance. I'm still looking forward to reading the rest of the series though. :)

In February I went to a very large booksale that's held at the state fairgrounds, and I got most of the rest of the series. Here are pics of my stash. (Also, this isn't all of the books I got there... just the ones by Susan Mallery.)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Songs for April!

This post is a little late, as per usual, but here are 30 songs to listen to in April! I've been having a lot of fun discovering new and awesome songs and I hope you take a minute to check some of them out, and maybe share a few of your own. :)

1. Believe by Jimi Cravity
2. Hard Love by Needtobreathe
3. Where You Are by Auli'i Cravalho
4. Thumbs by Sabrina Carpenter
5. Don't Let Me Down by The Chainsmokers
6. Magic in the Air by Magic System
7. Ice Cream Cake by Red Velvet
8. Confident by Demi Lovato
9. Je suis chez moi by Black M
10. Towards the Sun by Rihanna
11. Entropic Time by acapellascience
12. Mercy by Shawn Mendes
13. Alone by Hollyn
14. The Greatest by Sia
15. Never Too Far Gone by Jordan Feliz
16. Sapes comme jamais by Maitre Gims
17. Drag Me Down by One Direction
18. I Am Moana by Auli'i Cravalho
19. Est-ce que tu m'aimes? by Maitre Gims
20. Happiness by Needtobreathe
21. Money & Fame by Needtobreathe
22. Good Fight by Unspoken
23. Overdose by EXO-K
24. Barman by Soprano
25. Work This Body by Walk the Moon
26. Wake Me Up by Avicii
27. Problem by Ariana Grande
28. Dope by BTS
29. How Far I'll Go by Auli'i Cravalho
30. Stay by Alessia Cara & Zedd

Monday, April 10, 2017

Musicmicetro Pinterest Board Feature - Book Images

If you couldn't tell by my weekly book reviews, I love books. So I have quite a few Pinterest boards devoted to the subject. Today, I'd like to share with you my ten favorite pins from my board Book Images.

As per usual, if you choose to pin any of these, please do so via Pinterest or via the original website so the original creator/poster, etc., can be credited. Clicking on the image will take you to the pin.

I'm fairly sure I want to be this girl.

Isn't this illustration just adorable?

Reading is probably one of the only things I like doing on a beach. This picture looks wonderful.

Reading takes you places. :)

This picture is just adorable. Squee <3 p="">

I'm a sucker for monochromatic pictures like this.

I like this one because it's whimsical. Not a situation you'd ever encounter in real life.

*Sigh* This picture just makes me so happy.

Rain, coffee, and books. Could a day get any more perfect?

Another super pretty picture to wrap this post up!

If you have any adorable or quirky or pretty book images, I would love to see them! Share them in the comments!

💗 Annette

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Basic Stripes Square Three from Bring Color to Crochet

This month I'm doing different projects from the book "Bring Color to Crochet" by Renate Kirkpatrick. The book offers 64 different squares that you can then sew together to make colorful blanket. My goal is just to make it through a sampling of her squares this month. :)

I'm using different colors than the author as outlined below. All of them are worsted weight yarns, but I couldn't give you much other than that, since they've since lost their tags. I want to say that the sage color is not Red Heart, but the rest are. And the darker blue is a Red Heart Sparkle. That's all I know. :P

Color A - Off-white
Color B - Sage
Color C - Light blue
Color D - Sparkle blue
Color E - Light purple

The author doesn't explicitly state which of her colors match with A, B, C, D, and E, so you just have to assume. From the patterns it appears that Color A is the "main" color, to which the rest of your colors are added. In the book, this main color is an olive green.

The pattern I did this week is a pretty basic stripes pattern. It is written in UK terms, with US terms in parentheses. (Phew - I forgot I even needed to check for this when buying a crochet book.) It requires you to know half-double crochet and the chain stitch, and that's about it. It is a bit unusual from most crochet patterns because instead of crocheting a row, turning, crocheting a row, turning, etc., it has you remove your hook and re-insert it at the beginning of the row intermittently.

Be suuuper careful to actually count your stitches, or at least eyeball it to make sure you're not losing stitches along the way. I'm a pretty lazy crocheter some of the times, but this one you need to watch out for!

This pattern is also a beast to sew up at the end. (Sewing is my least favorite part of crocheting, by the way. If I can find a pattern that has minimal sewing, that pattern is my best friend. :)) There are little ends to sew up at each end of every row, which was not fun. But hey, at least it turned out pretty cute!

💗 Annette

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sippin' Saturday - Strawberry Cooler from Compass Arizona Grill

So I normally don't post reviews of alcoholic drinks on here - mostly because I have maaaybe two drinks a year. But this was probably one of the best alcoholic drinks I've had, so I wanted to give it a shout out.

For my friend's birthday last year, we went to the Compass Grill in Phoenix, which is a rotating restaurant at the top of a hotel. It's pretty swanky, but also a pretty cool experience.

Here's a picture of my friend and her fiancee so you can see the curve of the restaurant and the beautiful view behind them.

This drink barely tasted like alcohol, which is why I liked it so much. I don't get the impression it was hiding an excessive amount of alcohol either. It was very fruity and had fresh-from-frozen strawberries in it, which gave it a nice burst of flavor and texture. I search so long for the recipe after I found it, but no such luck. When I went to look it up today it was out there! Apparently it is made of Absolut Citron, ginger ale, and fresh strawberries. If you're ever in the Phoenix area, check it out!

💗 Annette

5 years ago - Georgia Peach from Wildflower Bakery

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Reading Wednesday - Santos y Angeles by Claire Llewellyn

So I learned a lot about the English language by reading. I'm familiar with the grammar, how to write in English, how to spell the words, etc. Yes, it is my native language, but I feel I have a lot of extra skill with English just from reading. So in order to improve my skill with a second language, Spanish, I challenge myself to read in Spanish. I try to pick books that will help me increase my vocabulary, but that aren't way past my level. So I end up reading a lot of children's books in Spanish. Enter Santos y Angeles.

This book has beautiful illustrations of the saints. And by illustrations, I mean images of famous artwork of the saints. It doesn't have a ton of saints, but it does include a lot of the popular ones. I learned a lot of Catholic words in Spanish, which I thought was pretty cool. It was just at my reading level - a topic I was familiar with so I could infer what a lot of the words meant but didn't feel overwhelmed. I also learned a lot of really interesting stuff about the saints, which is great.

I also used this book as a reference in my catechism class about the saints. Most of my students don't read or speak Spanish at all, but they still enjoyed looking through the book to find their favorite saint. Again, the pictures are gorgeous.

This book gets four stars, both for the information and images it contains, and for it's ability to help me learn Spanish. I'd love to own an English version of this book as well someday.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Taste Testing Italian Chocolates

One of my friends went to Europe and brought back a bunch of chocolates from different countries! If you missed it, the review of different German chocolates is here.

This time, I'm reviewing different Italian chocolates, made by Perugina.

First up - the banana shaped one! This one was filled with a liquid creme that tasted exactly like a banana Runt. (You know, like these -->) We definitely don't have anything like this in America. I'm not sure how I felt about it. It was just very, very banana.

Here's the inside of the banana

The next chocolate reminded me a lot of the chewy molasses ones that come in a Russell Stover sort of mix. Quite chewy, and sweet with just an edge of some other flavor.

The next one was very much like a Fererro Rocher, except fancier. It is filled with something like a thick Nutella with hazelnut bits in it, topped with a hazelnut and coated in milk chocolate. Yum!

Just like the above, the next chocolate had a Nutella-like nougat and a hazelnut, topped with white chocolate. I really liked this one, even though I'm not a fan of white "chocolate". These chocolates are supposedly Italy's version of our Hershey's kisses - hence the shape. They're called Bacio (meaning "kiss") and they come with little fortunes or quotes about love on the inside of their wrapper.

The last two "kisses" were similar to the first two, but coated in varying degrees of dark chocolate. Also very delicious.

Honestly, I don't quite remember what the last two chocolates tasted like. Obviously, they made quite an impression. :P I do remember that they were delicious though!

And for the fun of it, here's what all the insides of the different chocolates looked like!
So do you have a favorite chocolate from Italy? What is it?

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